Mycenaean Linear B tablets on terms and activities related to olive oil as templates for cross-correlation to Minoan Linear A tablets:
In order to determine how to rationally assign meanings of terms and activities related to olive oil to Minoan Linear A tablets, we must rely on Mycenaean Linear B tablets as templates for cross-correlative retrogressive analysis to corresponding Minoan Linear A tablets of the same activities and terms relative to olives and olive oil. Otherwise, sensible decipherments of the latter are frankly impossible. For instance, these three Linear B tablets from Knossos clearly illustrate how terms and activities dependent on olive oil in Mycenaean Linear B must without exception be taken into consideration if we are ever to decipher the same terms and activities with any degree of accuracy on corresponding Minoan Linear A tablets:
What possible value can these 3 tablets in Mycenaean Linear B serve as indicators of similar terms or activities on Minoan Linear A tablets?
For instance, Minoan Linear A tablets HT 121 & 123+124 from Haghia Triada cannot be deciphered at all without cross-correlative retrogressive analysis with as many Mycenaean Linear B tablets as conceivably possible. At the present juncture, I am as yet unable to decipher it, but cross-correlative analysis with as many activities and terms related to olive oil in Mycenaean Linear B may eventually provide me with the means to achieve a reasonable decipherment of it. The operative word is may, and even that is a long shot:
For the time being, the words kirita2 (kiritai) and kitai are utterly undecipherable. I have not the faintest idea what they mean. It is remotely possible that kitai may mean “delivery”, given that the number of olive oil (whatever) is 30. So conceivably we might be dealing here with the delivery of 30 units or amphorae of olive oil. But then the problem is, how do we know what the 30 units of olive oil refer to, in the absence of any word on the tablet other than kitai related to olive oil? On HT 123+124, kitai might conceivably mean “delivery” or it might mean something else, such as “amphora”, which could make sense in the context, where it could possibly mean 30 “amphorae” of olive oil. But we cannot have it both ways. In the absence of a second word referencing olive oil, it is impossible for kitai alone to mean either “delivery” or “amphorae” both or God knows what else simultaneously . So we are trapped in a paradox which cannot be resolved. On the other hand, another “definition” of kitai may possibly be in reach, but only after we have translated a number of Linear B tablets, in order to compile a list of potential alternative terms or activities which might possibly serve as templates for the potential decipherment of “corresponding” words on Linear A tablets. Possibly, but not probably, and more likely than not, never.
The challenge is formidable. I have my work cut out for me. Moreover, the great number of permutations and combinations besetting any interpreter make the challenge much more intimidating.
Historical linguist, Linear B, Mycenaean Greek, Minoan Linear A, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, ancient Greek, Homer, Iliad, only Blog ENTIRELY devoted to Linear B on Internet; bilingual English- French, read Latin fluently, read Italian & ancient Greek including Linear B well, Antikythera Mechanism
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2 thoughts on “Mycenaean Linear B tablets on terms and activities related to olive oil as templates for cross-correlation to Minoan Linear A tablets”
But you love the challenge Richard.
GRIN! 🙂 🙂
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